Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Recent Reads I Recommend

Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick makes me want to throw away all the other parenting books and blogs and articles I've ever read.  I thought it was a bit repetitive and I found her sample parenting "speeches" she would give to kids to be long-winded and not very realistic (for me), but the heart of this book is amazing, refreshing, and life-altering.  I need to review it every year.  In an age where everyone seems to have a "system" for churning out "good" kids, Elyse gets down to the biblical basics of parenting--and probably most of us have it wrong.  This book went deep to my heart....with conviction but also blessed relief.  It is a must-read for every Christian parent or teacher.

"At the deepest level of what we do as parents, we should hear the heartbeat of a loving, grace-giving Father who freely adopts rebels and transforms them into loving sons and daughters."

"We have far too high of a view of our ability to shape our children and far too low a view of God's love and trustworthiness."

I read The Invisible Girls by Sarah Thebarge because it was written by a girl I knew in college.  It is beautiful and haunting and I would recommend to anyone.  Sarah tells the story of how at age 27, as a graduate student at an Ivy League school and a very bright future ahead of her, she lost everything to breast cancer.  Intertwined in this memoir is the story of how God brought redemption to her suffering through her chance connection to a Somalian refugee family.  You will be blessed by this book.

Teaching Redemptively by Donovan Graham takes the subject that is near and dear to my heart--Biblical worldview--and demonstrates clearly and concisely how it should form Christian teaching.  As someone who has been involved in education for my entire adulthood, I found it incredibly interesting and thought-provoking.  Highly recommended for anyone involved in Christian education.

"[G]race cannot be comprehended, let alone lived, in an environment so permeated with a philosophy of life that says, 'Pull yourself up by the bootstraps, work harder next time and you'll get it, nobody gets something they don't deserve.'  If we want our students to live the gospel after they leave school, then we must help them experience it in school."

The Rage Against God is written by Peter Hitchens--brother to atheist Christopher Hitchens--which is what makes this book so interesting.  Part memoir, part history lesson, part apologetics book for the existence of God--I found it fascinating.

"Only one reliable force stands in the way of the power of the strong over the weak.  Only one reliable force forms the foundation of the concept of the rule of law.  Only one reliable force restrains the hand of the man of power.  And, in an age of power-worship, the Christian religion has become the principal obstacle to the desire of earthly utopians for absolute power."

If Son of Hamas  had been written as a book of fiction, I would have dismissed it as far too far-fetched to be realistic.  I mean...seriously?  A son of one of the founding members of Hamas, who becomes an Israeli spy, who becomes a Christian?  How ridiculous is that?  That's what's so crazy....it's true!  It reads like a spy novel, but the entire story is true...a biography, in fact.  Totally captivating. 

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